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High blood pressure - medicine-related

Hypertension - medication related; Drug-induced hypertension

Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a chemical substance or medicine.

Causes

Blood pressure is determined by the:

  • Amount of blood the heart pumps
  • Condition of the heart valves
  • Pulse rate
  • Pumping power of the heart
  • Size and condition of the arteries

There are several types of high blood pressure:

  • Essential hypertension has no cause that can be found.
  • Secondary hypertension occurs because of another disorder.
  • Drug-induced hypertension is a form of secondary hypertension caused by a response to a chemical substance or medicine.
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Chemical substances and medicines that can cause high blood pressure include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Alcohol, amphetamines, ecstasy (MDMA and derivatives), and cocaine
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors (including tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies)
  • Antidepressants (including venlafaxine, bupropion, and desipramine)
  • Caffeine (including the caffeine in coffee and energy drinks)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cyclosporine
  • Ephedra and many other herbal products
  • Erythropoietin
  • Estrogens (including birth control pills)
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Many over-the-counter medicines such as cough/cold and asthma medicines, particularly when the cough/cold medicine is taken with certain antidepressants, such as tranylcypromine or tricyclics
  • Migraine medicines
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Nicotine
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Testosterone and other anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs
  • Yohimbe

Rebound hypertension occurs when blood pressure rises after you stop taking or lower the dose of a drug (typically a medicine to lower high blood pressure).

Many other factors can also affect blood pressure, including:

  • Age
  • Condition of the kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
  • Genetics
  • Foods eaten, weight, and other body-related variables, including the amount of added sodium in processed foods
  • Levels of various hormones in the body
  • Volume of water in the body

References

Grossman A, Messerli FH, Grossman E. Drug induced hypertension--an unappreciated cause of secondary hypertension. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015;763(Pt A):15-22. PMID: 26096556 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26096556.

Jurca SJ, Elliott WJ. Common substances that may contribute to resistant hypertension, and recommendations for limiting their clinical effects. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2016;18(10):73. PMID: 27671491 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27671491.

Peixoto AJ. Secondary hypertension. In: Gilbert SJ, Weiner DE, eds. National Kidney Foundation's Primer on Kidney Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 66.

  • Blood pressure

    Blood pressure

    Animation

  •  

    Blood pressure - Animation

    This animation defines normal blood pressure and the measurement of systole and diastole. Structures shown include a front-view of the heart beating, a cut-view of the heart beating, and blood flowing through a small artery.

  • Drug induced hypertension

    Drug induced hypertension - illustration

    Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a response to using, or stopping the use of, a chemical substance, drug, or medicine.

    Drug induced hypertension

    illustration

  • Untreated hypertension

    Untreated hypertension - illustration

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

    Untreated hypertension

    illustration

  • Hypertension

    Hypertension - illustration

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by consistently high blood pressure. Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure, and it represents the pressure generated when the heart beats. The bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure, and it represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart is at rest. Persistent high blood pressure can lead to abnormal changes in the heart.

    Hypertension

    illustration

  • Blood pressure

    Animation

  •  

    Blood pressure - Animation

    This animation defines normal blood pressure and the measurement of systole and diastole. Structures shown include a front-view of the heart beating, a cut-view of the heart beating, and blood flowing through a small artery.

  • Drug induced hypertension

    Drug induced hypertension - illustration

    Drug-induced hypertension is high blood pressure caused by a response to using, or stopping the use of, a chemical substance, drug, or medicine.

    Drug induced hypertension

    illustration

  • Untreated hypertension

    Untreated hypertension - illustration

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by chronically high blood pressure. It must be monitored, treated and controlled by medicines, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.

    Untreated hypertension

    illustration

  • Hypertension

    Hypertension - illustration

    Hypertension is a disorder characterized by consistently high blood pressure. Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The top number is called systolic blood pressure, and it represents the pressure generated when the heart beats. The bottom number is called diastolic blood pressure, and it represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart is at rest. Persistent high blood pressure can lead to abnormal changes in the heart.

    Hypertension

    illustration

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Review Date: 10/11/2018

Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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